A few weeks back I took part in Inktober,Β a drawing challenge started by American artist Jake Parker in 2009. He set himself the task of coming up with a new pen & ink drawing every day in October to help develop positive drawing habits & improve his inking skills. Since then the challenge has evolved somewhat into a big thing and thousands of artists all over the world join in every year, posting their efforts daily on Instagram.

Inktober logo

More info on Inktober here – The Inktober Initiative

I noticed lots of Inktober stuff happening on Instagram last year, and on October 1st I decided on a whim to give it a go this time! I used to draw a lot when I was younger, yet don’t seem to get round to it much anymore. As a kid I’d start drawing without considering whether it was going right or wrong… now if I start something with the intention of it being a proper drawing and not just a random doodle, I seem to overthink what I’m doing and how it’s going to turn out, and sometimes I just don’t start at all! Why does that happen as you get older?!

There are a list of official prompts which get released every year, which I stuck to only occasionally.

Official Rules
Official Prompt List for 2017

Mainly I just went with the flow and drew whatever came to mind. I decided to stick with the first idea I had and finish it, instead of starting again if I felt it was going wrong! Otherwise no doubt I’d have restarted drawings numerous times and never actually finished anything. Proud to say I somehow actually managed to stick with the challenge all the way through, which I was quite surprised about!

This was day one. It was based on one of those Fisher Price pop-up Jack in the Box clowns you used to get as a child. 🀑🀑

My first Inktober!
The first nine drawings, all together.

I wasn’t all that pleased with any of the first nine I drew, except for the dolphins! And the ninth one itself turned out particularly odd and freaked me out a bit. The first few days it was really hard to post the drawings up on Instagram as it felt a bit weird with everybody seeing them.

Dolphins on day seven

I feel like the next lot came out slightly better. In particular I was quite happy with this one I did of the Dave Clark Five. Took me ages to do all that cross hatching though.

Koalas and Kangaroos

The koalas and kangaroos picture on day 13 was based on an old postcard I found in a charity shop where a kangaroo had been really badly superimposed next to some koalas.

The next nine!

The tooth on day 18 was to celebrate the end of five months of ongoing root canal treatment! Hooray!

By the 3rd set I feel like I’d got on a bit of a roll. Day 22 was a picture of Big Daddy, based on the 1983 annual which I found on the bookshelf when searching for inspiration.

Big Daddy, 1983

Here are the third set together. The good thing about doing Inktober was that you never knew where each day would take you! I can’t even remember what prompted me to draw Bruce Lee, Mary Hopkin or Ed Sheeran. However the fish were inspired by a trip to Hull and the Alan Boyson BHS Mural.

Another nine Inktobers.

This dog picture is actually just a drawing of two dog ornaments, side by side with an inpirational quote around them.

Day 25, inspirational dogs.

Here are the last few…

Last of the Inktoberz. Until next year (maybe)

I managed to stick to my rule of completing the first thing I drew until the last day when I felt extremely uninspired and ended up drawing a picture of the Pope which was particularly bad. I couldn’t bring myself to finish it and after that I didn’t get the pens out again until November 5th when I had a strong urge to draw Alvin Stardust. I must say I’m glad I waited as I think Alvin turned out to be my best work.

Alvin Stardust, and my final Inktober.

Ps. Check out the Alvin Stardust wikipedia page. It will blow your mind when you find out that Alvin wasn’t even the original Alvin.

Anyway, now it’s over I do feel glad I joined in on Inktober. It was quite stressful at times trying to keep up with it, and I hated it for the first week, but it’s the most drawing I’ve done in ages and I’m going to do some more soon I think.

Check out all the pictures individually, as they happened, over on my Instagram >>> Magic Town Midway



End of Intermission. Part Two – Magic Town Midway

Hello, Janine here! Welcome to my new corner of the internet – ‘The Magic Town Midway Blog’!

Magic Town Midway
Magic Town Midway

I had a previous long-running blog, ‘The Dilys Treacle Blog’. When I started blogging in 2009 I’d set up a small greeting card publishing business, Dilys Treacle Treasures, with a website and Etsy shop of the same name. I used to write about my adventures in card publishing, plus anything else I liked.

Several years down the line however, I’d moved away from the greeting card world as the business side was taking up more time than designing and doing stuff I loved. In 2015 I reopened my Etsy shop to sell some remaining stock, but also listed some vintage things too, mainly stuff I’d picked up at antique shops but never had room to display!

Vintage Tiddley Winks found by Magic Town Midway

My love of history and mid century design meant that collecting vintage trinkets had been a long term pastime, and it seemed a natural progression to curate a vintage collection online which I could sell in my shop.

Before I knew it the vintage side had taken over and I was out and about most weekends scouring the local area for old treasures…anything from cool toys and books, to quirky curios and bric-a-brac. I must confess that around 80% of the time I feel unable to part with the things I find and they end up somewhere in our front room, but mostly I know the treasures will be heading to good new homes and that makes me happy enough to let them go! I’ve recently added a selection of vintage greeting cards and postcards to the shop, plus a few antiques, and I’m also planning on using it as an outlet for my own artwork and illustration stuff in the coming months, so there will be a real random mix.

Magic Town Midway Vintage goodies
A few things for sale in my shop.

Once I’d started selling vintage I renamed the Etsy shop and the blog ‘Magic Town Midway’. I’d liked the name Magic Town for awhile, and a midway is an American term for a sideshow or amusements at a fairground, which I thought fitted in well with my ever-growing online bazaar!

I’ve been working on rebranding for the last few months and have now started afresh by getting a new blog too. The whole shebang! So, without further ado, I hereby christen this blog The Magic Town Midway Blog!

Click here to visit the shop.

Stay tuned…